Saturday, 8 August 2020


Again from peripatetic curation of Things Magazine we find ourselves directed to what one might be forgiven for thinking was merely a fun, visual romp through the control panels (see previously) and user-interfaces of Lego playsets—which in itself is reason enough for indulging it—but the object lesson turns out to be highly illustrative of design ramifications that one could extrapolate to real-life engineering and remote-operations scenarios, not to mention the toy-manufacturer’s eye for such details. In common-parlance, we only talk of colour-coding but our panels encode for other relationships as well according to function and enhance (or sometimes detract from) the user experience (UX).

in xanadu did kubla khan a stately pleasure-dome decree

Although singles from soundtrack charted until supplanted by Olivia Newton-John’s next hit “Physical” and it has since gained a sizable cult-following, the Robert Greenwald movie starring Michael Beck and Gene Kelly in his last cinematic performance was so bad as to be the impetus for the Razzies—the Golden Raspberry awarded to the worst production of the year.  The Electric Light Orchestra was the house band with support from Cliff Richards and The Tubes, a San Francisco based rock group that would soon feature prominently on the early days of MTV.
The retelling of a 1940s-style tale of magical realism with contemporary late 1970s aesthetics and even animated sequences begins with a commission to paint a large mural in the eponymous nightclub of the Nine Muses of Ancient Greek mythology—which invokes the spirits of the Olympian patronesses, one of whom remains, Kira—or rather Terpsichore (Newton-John, ฮคฮตฯฯˆฮนฯ‡ฯŒฯฮท—delight in dancing), behind to help the new club become a success, with some help from her sisters.

kosmischer lรคufer

Via Things Magazine, we discover the lost and now found motivational sessions for the long distance runner created for the East German Olympic Programme that shows the DDR was far ahead of its Western counterparts when it came to harmonically harnessing the Tetris effect. One amateur runner of that period took the repetitive but catchy strains of the so called Krautrock genre—a Western import but also an East German export soon after—and tethered his playlist to the arising technology called the Stereobelt that was sort of a proto-Walkman. More Cold War innovation and intrigue—as well as more of the soft but integral diplomacy of sport and song at the links above.

Friday, 7 August 2020

buchette del vino

In response to this new pestilence, some wineries and restaurants in the Tuscan region have unplugged extant architectural features called wine windows (see previously) installed during times of the plague to dispense their fare in a safer manner. Also used for the sake of convenience, the small, anonymous portals were a way for kitchens to be charitable with surplus food and drink without the individual seeking alms necessarily needing to reveal themselves to their benefactor.

even keel

Having recently noted the anniversary of the passing away of the tradition of the rum ration with Black Tot Day (31 July 1970)—the abolishment of the daily allotment aboard vessels of the Royal Navy in the UK, though lasting under the admiralties of Canada and New Zealand until 1972 and 1990 respectively, we enjoyed learning about the term “splice the mainbrace
—originally an emergency directive to undertake one of the most difficult emergency rigging repair jobs, it became over the years an allowance for a taking a celebratory toast or dispensing an extra ration to the crew. Since the institution ended, only the Queen, Admiralty or another member of the Royal Family can issue the order, sometimes with the supplementary command to “Mend and make clothes,” in other words to take half a day off. Compare to the “:59 Minute Rule” that’s observed in the US military that allows commanders to dismiss staff early without charge to leave, since it falls beneath the threshold that requires it.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

romanes eunt domus

Not to make extra publicity for some conservative propagandist—and thankfully I managed to miss the faux furore of the original googledygook of a machine-summoned up translation that cause the first printing of this vanity publication to be pulped, it is an interesting example of how one ought to manage their expectations of technology and pause to verify, sort of like being forever branded with a nonsensical selection of Chinese glyphs as a tattoo—noting that academic languages are especially prone to error due to their limited sample size.
Caveat scriptor. Taking some poetic license, the author could charitably parse the intended motto as: “Let’s live or [he] passes away from America for the detriment of a free man.” Like one of the commenters, I’m recalled to the corrected anti-Roman slogan “Romani ite domum” that a centurion delivers to the initiate revolutionary in The Life of Brian, ordering him to scrawl out the graffiti in proper (see also here and here) Latin as punishment for his atrocious grammatical error.


Via Memo of the Air (lots to explore in every edition), we are presented with a fanimated episode of SpongeBob Squarepants filtered through the aesthetic of anime.
Illustrator Narmark shared a glimpse of how the characters might look in this style a couple years back but has now set them in action in a full length cartoon.


Via Plain Magazine, we are alerted to conclusion and showcase of superlative snapshots from dotArt Urban 2020 photo awards and exhibition in partnership with Trieste Photo Days.
Shifting through over ten thousand submissions split among different categories—street, people, etc.—the jury has selected a number of finalists to contend for the top prize to be announced in October which will meanwhile be available to peruse on the contest’s online gallery. We especially liked this black-and-white picture of a scene in Prague from the perspective of a bicycle rack from Gabriele Altin, which really evokes the art in the sense of extending flรขnerie. Champion your favourites and find much more to explore at the links above.